Traveling is To Transform

For some people at some point traveling is a luxury.

It used to be my condition but now to travel seems to be easier than before. To travel alone sounds really not interesting but not for me, although sometime I feel like having a traveling buddy. The only thing I don’t like when traveling on my own is that I will always have difficulty to take pictures of myself in front of a landmark of the places I visit, but it’s not a big deal. It is just one thing to memorize, but the rest depend on how we could pass on the stories to others. And not only that, when we learn, understand, accept and transform ourselves to be a better person after traveling, that’s one big thing. Traveling should make ourselves more culturally sensitive and versatile, and that we adapt to new cultures, peoples and places quicker and easier.

When I travel alone, I got to know new people, I learn about new cultures, languages and social norms as well as generation-to-generation traditions apart from observing the places I’ve visited–how we ‘read’ the surroundings of the places and how they all gravitate towards one largest thing on site and how they could vibrate together to create a bigger life.

I cried, I laughed, I sobbed, I got stunned, amazed, moved and all of those elements that shook my being and shaped a whole new notional standpoint in myself–all of these things that I loved feeling and letting them battling inside my head and my heart. They nourish my soul, my thoughts and emotional connection to the universe. It’s not how long we spend in a particular place but it’s about how quick we absorb and let all the things come inside our ‘home’ through the door of acceptance.

I found myself fought with the locals, I ended up getting lost in the labyrinth of new places and I let myself battle to adjust with the new cultures I encounter and lost in translation of the foreign language I never heard in my life. These things bombarded me everyday with their dynamic movement that definitely help me grow..

Just Another Crazy Early Summer Vacation

Uhm.. Hard to believe that I apparently don’t do things that I used to do anymore, few things, including writing a monologue or something in this blog. Anyway, I will just make a note on my early summer vacation this year, which runs from May 27 – June 5.

The travel itinerary is somewhat crazy: Jakarta-Surabaya-Bali-Jakarta-Manila-Davao City-Tagaytay-Manila-Jakarta in just a couple of days, but I believe as always, this will be another precious learning process for me to have such packed schedule to run around, not as some people say ‘ants in pants’; every travel will enrich the traveler for as long as the traveler wills to take the lessons and experiences gained and collected throughout the journey.

To learn about the people, to understand about the culture, to read about the language and to memorize the places visited. Everything is a learning point and every learning point is a chance to grow more mature and to be more knowledgeable; whatever happens a long the way: good experiences and small unfortunate mishaps, we don’t take them for granted but we take them as potential values that could help us transform to be a better person, to be a more culturally versatile person and to be a more understanding person about others of different cultures and ethnicities.

That’s about traveling–it travels our soul, heart and mind to a higher quality humankind.

The Trameno Trip

The beach time is never enough… I’m writing this monologue while laying on the beach in Senggigi with a coconut sitting next to me, waiting for the sun to set…

The Gili Trawangan-Meno I had last night was really unforgettable (boat) trip in my life. My friends and I decided to go to Gili Trawangan from Gili Meno at around sunset time by a charter boat–the same boat we hired for snorkeling earlier in the day..

It was so lively in Gili Trawangan, with more people and in a way, too many tourists. But it was really something. We had fine dinner by the beach at the Beach House Restaurant. And we went to Rudy’s for sort of night life activity. We asked our boatman to pick us up at the pier at 1 a.m. But when we got there, he wasn’t there yet. We called him right away and he said he was just about to go. So, we were waiting and decided to sleep a bit on a beach lodge.

Then here he came. And it was like 2 a.m. When the ocean wave was at its wildest activity. The boatman came with his wife. And when everyone was aboard and the boat was about to start, it got stuck in the beach sand. The boatman went off and tried to push the boat to the sea. After a couple of minutes he made it but another problem came, the engine did not want to start. It was just the beginning of the thrill.

When it eventually started, as we thought it could happen, the wild wave welcome us right away, shaking our wooden small-sized boat ups and down, rights and lefts and some water just splashed and poured into our boat. If you could feel the thrill; I asked everyone to pray along the way but I also tried to calm down as if everything would be ok (it did in the end). It was a very long ride, but after 10 or 15 minutes, the wave calmed down a bit and we started enjoying the breeze and the stars. The boatman’s wife told us that it was fishing time and we could see the fish jumping around the sea surface..

I never saw that many stars in my life, as far as I could remember. How many? Millions, to as far as I could see the sky, I saw the stars. It was very heart- shocking moment. I was so enthralled. And what shocked me the most was something that I always saw on tv which I never completely believed. But after witnessing that with my eyes and heart. I believe in that. Not only one shooting star that I saw, I witnessed two! In just one night. The first one had a short tail, and I made a wish right away. And I kept waiting on the next one to come. And I saw it with a longer tail, but I was already stunned, amazed and speechless. I couldn’t make any wish anymore, but praised Allah the Almighty..

The journey took about 45 minutes. And I saw millions of stars, thousands of fish, above the blue ocean water and under the very starry night sky.

I thank God for giving me this opportunity to experience such beauty that God creates. This is a real heaven on earth… And this will always be a life experience that I will cherish…

Alhamdulillah ya Allah…

Traversing Self-search

Eight-hour overland travel from Siem Reap to the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh gives me sometime to think about the path that I’ve built to put me where I am now. It’s another chance to learn a new lesson life could possibly provide to every individual. I got so sick the first day I got to the country and yet, I was trying so hard to heal and at the same time to enjoy the dream-comes-true journey that I have been wanting for so long.

Every journey offers new situation that stimulates our mind and our soul. It’s feeding us with wisdom and knowledge, the food for our brain cells. It gives us chances to see the world and life from so many different views. Just how sometime we feel ups and downs. Every little thing shows us possibilities that we never could think of before.

Some people learn to better understand themselves and some people just take this for granted as if things would always be the same, forgetting that everything progresses and that the only constant thing is the change itself. Maybe they are nervous and afraid to go along with the change and they reconcile with themselves that accepting they way they are right now is the best thing to do and that changing means getting out of their comfort zone—big change on their entire life.

I am too, sometime afraid to change. I am happy with my current condition. And if I change meaning I would have to start things all over again. I always want to have something better and that I want to better what I have. I just couldn’t do much about it.

My life has been so flat in the last 2 years. Everything seems to be in the right order. Everything is easy to achieve. No significant difficulties come my way. I get everything easily, not that I am not grateful with things are going, it’s just that I need to put some colors in my life. I know and I understand that I have been showered with so much love and blessings and I always want to feel that.

Sometime the road is very smooth but sometime we travel through winding road. My path has been soft and easy to walk on. On the one hand, it’s very comforting, as I don’t have to get so frustrated about what’s happening along the way. On the other hand, my world has become very narrow. I can’t experience what others go through and how it is to be another person with another situation and problems.

To travel is the best thing for me to open up my eyes, my ears and my heart to traverse my own self-search. To travel helps me find new elements that I can add into myself.  Use the good positive components and understand the negative aspects and learn from them and try not doing that. It’s like how I learn from my parents to be a strong life fighter and not to be a loser and failure for the family. The yin-yang in life teach us the balance of all life elements and our part is to take the advantages life gives us to learn, shape and strengthen us as a great individual.

taken and edited from dated May-October 2011

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